July 2012

Lineup and Game Notes for July 31, 2012

So good to be back home!

Tonight’s Lineup:
Chadwin Stang – CF
Lance Roenicke – LF
Brandon Macias – 3B
Ben McMahan – RF
Nick Ramirez – 1B
Greg Hopkins – 2B
Mike Garza – DH
Rafael Neda – C
Yadiel Rivera – SS

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Chad Pierce

Burlington Starting Pitcher:
Chris Lamb

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesJuly312012

Follow tonight’s game (7:05pm CDT first pitch):
Radio: AM1280,  WNAM
Internet Audio: WNAM Website (Click Listen Live Tab) (free)
Internet Video: MiLB.TV (subscribers only)

Notes from the bus ride home

Timber Rattlers 7
LumberKings 0
Boxscore | Game Story

That is how you end a road trip.

  • Back to the old bullet points tonight because the bus ride is a little rocky and I think I’m still a little dehydrated…even with the liter of water…yes, water…that I drank during the first four innings of the game…It got a little warm in the booth tonight.
  • The Timber Rattlers went 5-1 on a six game road trip against two teams that they could face in the first round of the playoffs.  And they outscored their opponents 31-10.
  • Ten?  Let me check….10 ÷ 6 =….less than two runs a game….That’s good?  Right? 
  • Here are the pitchers as they went in the games:
    July 25 @ Kane County: Matt Miller 8IP/Tyler Cravy IP
    July 26 @Kane County: Chad Pierce 7IP/Michael Strong 2IP
    July 27 @Kane County: David Goforth 7IP/Kevin Shackelford 2IP
    July 28 @Clinton: Eric Semmelhack 5IP/Maverick Lasker 2.2IP/Mark Williams IP
    July 29 @ Clinton: Jacob Barnes 5IP/STOSH! 4IP
    July 30@ Clinton: Miller 6IP/Stephen Peterson 3IP
    That looks pretty impressive if you ask me. Only on pitcher pitched twice on during a six game road trip was a starting pitcher. 
  • What does that mean?  It means a couple of things.  First, the starting pitchers are going deep into games. Second, the relievers are proving that they are capable of going multiple innings.  That would almost seem to be a good formula to develop pitchers.
  • The Rattlers hit two more home runs on Monday.  That gives them 28 in 27 games during July.  They are guaranteed to hit at least as many homers as they have played games in the month.
  • The homers on Monday were both opposite field line drives.  Max Walla (6th of the season) and Nick Ramirez (13th)each hit homers to left and that is a good thing.
  • Oh, and Ramirez with three more RBI for 55 on the season.
  • Chadwin Stang‘s infield single in the eighth inning extended his hitting streak to 14 games.  To give you a preview of the next series, he is 11-for-34 in 11 games against Burlington.
  • Speaking of Burlington: A win on Tuesday gives the Rattlers a 14-14 record in July.  A loss on Tuesday means a 13-15 record in July.
  • Yadiel Rivera showed off his range in the fifth inning.  He went deep in the hole and made a strong throw from short left field to first for the first out.   For the last out of the inning he grabbed a grounder directly behind second in short center to and made another accurate throw to first.  Mix in another walk and another hit and that’s a pretty good game for the shortstop prospect.
  • The bus is almost to the Wisconsin state line and I don’t plan on leaving my Beautiful Badger State for at least the next three weeks.
  • See you at the ballpark this week.

Lineup and Game Notes for July 30, 2012

A view of the ballpark in Clinton from way on the outside.

 Tonight’s Lineup:
Chadwin  Stang – CF
Max Walla – RF
Brandon Macias – 3B
Cameron Garfield – C
Nick  Ramirez – 1B
Ben McMahan – LF
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Mike Garza – DH
Adrian Williams – 2B

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Matt Miller

Clinton Starting Pitcher:
Seon-Gi Kim

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesJuly302012

Follow tonight’s game (7:00pm CDT first pitch):
Radio: AM1280,  WNAM
Internet Audio: WNAM Website (Click Listen Live Tab) (free)

Nine after 9 for July 29, 2012

Timber Rattlers 9
LumberKings 4
Boxscore | Game Story

Three light towers…Three home runs. Use those light towers in the photo as a landmarks.

  1. Chadwin Stang wasted no time in extending his hitting streak to 13 games and in giving the Rattlers a 1-0 lead.  Two pitches in and he crushed a home run to the light tower just to the right of the scoreboard.  Slow and steady wins the race?  Stang was hitting .229 after an 0-for-3 in game two a doubleheader against Cedar Rapids on May 7.  It has been a nearly three month climb, but that average has bumped up to .275. Still work to do.
  2. Cameron Garfield hit his sixth home run of the season on Sunday.  He hit it on an 0-2 pitch to the base of the light tower on the left of the scoreboard.  For reference:
    Garfield’s Power Numbers through the Years:
    Helena, 2009: Four homers in 218 at bats
    Rattlers, 2010: Three homers in 384 at bats
    Rattlers/AZL, 2011: Two homers in 53 at bats
    Rattlers, 2012: Six homers in 138 at bats
    Toss out that 2011 season due to the injuries
  3. See that light tower to the right of the batter’s eye? Nick Ramirez hit is his home run to the right of that thing.  It was the first home run he hit off a lefty this season and it could not have been more perfect.  The count was 3-0 and the ball may as well have been lobbed in there.  The sound of the ball hitting the bat was one of those sounds that makes some writers start to wax poetic about the beauty of the silence after the crack of the bat as all watch a white ball rocketing through the sky, becoming an ever diminishing white dot that eventually fades into eternity leaving a mere echo, a vapor trail, electronic numbers on a scoreboard, and the immortality of a few scratches in a scorebook.  Some writers can actually do it well.
  4. By the way, Ramirez is now the team leader in RBI.  He had four on Sunday and has 53 for the season.
  5. Wisconsin has played 26 games in the month of July.  They have hit 26 home runs in the month of July.
  6. The Rattlers have played 104 games this season and they have 77 home runs.
    Timber Rattlers home runs by season through the Brewers Era:
    2009 – 62 in 139 games
    2010 – 81 in 138 games
    2011 – 76 in 139 games
    2012 – 77 in 104 games
  7. STOSH! has been ridiculously good for the Rattlers this season.  Almost as ridiculously good as his mustache!  I can only think of one bad pitch he has made this season.  Today, I had him at 50 pitches in four scoreless innings.  He gave up three hits and no runs.  There were no walks and no strikeouts either but it didn’t matter.  Save #1 for STOSH!
  8. Mike Garza had two more hits on Sunday.  His hitting streak has reached five games and his average has climbed above .200.  “Deshi Basara”.
  9. One more game on this road trip.  Then – get this – the Rattlers play 24 straight games in Wisconsin.  Wisconsin is home for 17 and in Beloit for seven from July 31 through August 24.  That stretch can’t start soon enough.  Now, if we can just get out of town before a train holds up the bus.  But, what are the odds of that?

    Forget I asked.

Lineup and Game Notes for July 29, 2012

Showing the seating area and giving you an idea of how close the plate is to the stands at Ashford University Field.

Sunday’s Lineup:
Chadwin Stang – CF
Max Walla – RF
Cameron Garfield – C
Greg Hopkins – DH
Nick Ramirez – 1B
Ben McMahan – LF
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Mike Garza – 3B
Carlos George – 2B

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Jacob Barnes

Clinton Starting Pitcher:
Trevor Miller

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesJuly292012

Follow today’s game (2:00pm CDT first pitch):
Radio: AM1280,  WNAM
Internet Audio: WNAM Website (Click Listen Live Tab) (free)

Nine after 9 for July 28, 2012

Timber Rattlers 2
LumberKings 3
Boxscore | Game Story

Great night for a game

  1. In Christopher Nolan’s recently completed Dark Knight Trilogy one of the themes is balance.  In the words of Ra’s al Ghul from the first film: Justice is balance, you burnt my home and left me for dead, consider us even.  Why do I bring this up tonight?  The Timber Rattlers have nine walkoff wins at home.  They have now been “walked off” nine times on the road. Keep in mind that – in my telling – the LumberKings are Ra’s and the Rattlers are Batman.  Batman leaves Ra’s stranded on a crashing monorail at the end of the first movie…uh, spoiler, I guess.
  2. I told Chad Seely, the Clinton broadcaster those walkoff numbers after the game and he was stunned.   Frankly, so am I.  I’ve seen all 18 and I can’t believe it.  To put it in a statistical format: Saturday was the 103rd game of the season.  That means that 17% of the games this season have ended in a walkoff fashion.  That seems a bit out of the norm.
  3. Eric Semmelhack was mixing it up pretty well through five innings.  As a bonus, he fielded his position very well.  The LumberKings tried a safety squeeze in the third inning and Semmelhack made a quick move to get the ball.  His throw to the plate was a bit hurried and high, but Rafael Neda caught it and applied the tag for the out.
  4. I don’t even know where to start on the top of the fifth inning.  As my tweet said after the inning: In the words of Ron Burgundy: Heck, I’m not even mad; that’s amazing.  Here’s the spot.  Chadwin Stang at third and Lance Roenicke at second with no outs against John Taylor.  Taylor gets Brandon Macias on a sharp grounder back to the mound.  Greg Hopkins is at the plate.  On the second pitch of the at bat, the catcher – Mike Dowd – throws to third and picks off Stang.  Before the next pitch is thrown, Taylor turns and picks Roenicke off second base.  Neither play was close. That’s amazing.
  5. It sounds like the LumbeKings are going through a stretch where everything is bouncing their way.  I guess that happens when you win six in a row.  Maverick Lasker had runners at first and second with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.  He made a really good pitch on Dowd, but the ball landed in a Bermuda Triangle between Stang, Yadiel Rivera, and Carlos George.  All three were going after the ball so hard, that is was hard to slow up and pick up the ball after it basically stopped dead in the outfield.  Both runners scored and Dowd wound up with about a 200′ double.
  6. Rivera started the comeback with a walk….on a 3-2 pitch no less….in the top of the seventh.  He drew two walks in Saturday’s game…That would be two of his 18 walks on the season.
  7. George with a very good at bat to drive in Rivera with the tying run.  He had two strikes against him, fouled off a few pitches to keep the at bat going, and eventually got the fly ball to center to score Rivera.
  8. A few notes here:  Ben McMahan picked up his 10th outfield assist of the season.  Stang moved his hitting streak to 12 games with a double in the third, and Macias with his 50th RBI of the season when he drove in Stang in the third.
  9. To quote Thomas Wayne and Alfred from the first movie: Why do we fall? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.  Get ‘em tomorrow.

Lineup and Game Notes for July 28, 2012

RAGBRAI! RAGBRAI! Learn it! Live it! Love it!

Tonight’s Lineup:
Chadwin Stang – CF
Lance Roenicke – LF
Brandon Macias – 3B
Greg Hopkins – 1B
Ben McMahan – RF
Cameron Garfield – DH
Yadiel Rivera – SS
Rafael Neda – C
Carlos George – 2B

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
Eric Semmelhack

Clinton Starting Pitcher:
Jordan Shipers

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesJuly282012

Timber Rattlers roster moves:
C Tyler Roberts to DL
IF Carlos George activated from DL

Timber Rattlers Roster – Updated 7/27/2012:
Timber_Rattlers_Roster_072712

Follow tonight’s game (6:00pm CDT first pitch):
Radio: AM1280,  WNAM
Internet Audio: WNAM Website (Click Listen Live Tab) (free)

There’s got to be a morning after….

Timber Rattlers 4
Kane County 1
Boxscore | Game Story

These people LOVE Greg Hopkins.

Writing on the bus was almost impossible last night.  A combination of highway construction and Happy Gilmore* will do that.  I didn’t want to just leave last night’s game pass without at least a few notes, but I don’t have time to  get to nine.  Please accept this abbreviated post with the salient points.

David Goforth was outstanding.  Pitch count was low. Control was good. Velocity was there when he needed it.  Five strikeouts in seven innings and a no-hitter through 5-1/3 innings that was only broken up by an infield single.   He gave up a run in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Cougars were within 2-1 and had the tying run at second with two outs when he got a ground out to end the threat and his evening.

The last pitch of David Goforth’s night

The Rattlers held Kane County to three runs in the three game series.  Matt Miller (8IP), Chad Pierce (7IP), and Goforth (7IP) were the starters in the series.  Saturday’s game in Clinton is scheduled for a tandem with Eric Semmelhack and Maverick Lasker.

Chadwin Stang’s RBI single in the seventh inning on Friday gave him an 11-game hitting streak. That is the longest streak by a Rattler this season.

The last time the Timber Rattlers swept Kane County in Kane County was August, 2009.

Wisconsin is in Clinton to face the first place LumberKings.  Clinton went 23-45 in the first half.  The Rattlers were 8-1, including 6-0 in Clinton, against them in the first half.  The LumberKings have won five straight and are 20-13 in the second half.  Different L-Kings team in the second half.

Not sure if you’ve heard**, but the Brewers traded Zack Greinke to the Angels for Jean Segura, Johnny Hellweg, and Ariel Pena.  All three played for the Cedar Rapids Kernels in 2010.  Segura went 18-for-63 with three triples, a homer, 12RBI, and nine stolen bases.  I seem to remember that a lot of those RBI just killed the Rattlers.

Pena made three starts (Click the links for the boxscores: May 28, August 15, & August 21) against the Rattlers and was 1-1 with a 3.15ERA.  That game on August 21 was a 9-inning complete game three-hitter with 12 strikeouts.

Hellweg was memorable for a different reason.  He hit Cutter Dykstra in the head with a fastball on August 16.

*-The only AS movie I like.
**-I’m almost positive you’ve heard.

Lineup and Game Notes for July 27, 2012

Fifth Third Bank Ballpark before game three of the series between the Rattlers and Kane County.

Tonight’s Lineup:
Chadwin Stang – CF
Max Walla – RF
Brandon Macias – DH
Greg Hopkins – 2B
Nick Ramirez – 1B
Ben McMahan – LF
Cameron Garfield – C
Mike Garza – 3B
Adrian Williams – SS

Wisconsin Starting Pitcher:
David Goforth

Kane County Starting Pitcher:
Bryan Brickhouse

Timber Rattlers Game Notes:
RattlersGameNotesJuly272012

Follow tonight’s game (6:30pm CDT first pitch):
Radio: AM1280,  WNAM
Internet Audio: WNAM Website (Click Listen Live Tab) (free)

Nine after 9 for July 26, 2012

Rattlers 4
Kane County 0
Boxscore | Game Notes

Imperfectly captured aftermath of Yadiel Rivera’s amazing play in the 7th inning. Click to enlarge and look at the third base dugout.

  1. Chad Pierce‘s last four starts:
    7/8 v. KC: 6IP, 6H, 0R, 0ER, BB, 4K, WIN
    7/14 @FW: 8IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K, ND
    7/20 v. GL: 7IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 5K, ND
    7/26 @KC: 7IP, 3H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 8K, WIN
  2. Actual quote in the press box after the end of the seventh inning, “I thought that ball was in centerfield.”  That ball wasn’t going into center…Not with Yadiel Rivera at shortstop.  Here’s the situation.  No, wait…
  3. Here’s the buildup to the situation.  The Rattlers were up 1-0 in the seventh and the Cougars had runners at first and second with no outs on a walk and a hit batsman.  A bunt moved the runners over to second and third with one out.  A shallow fly ball to right – with a nice play by Max Walla on the catch – kept the runners where they were at with two outs.  
  4. Kevin David sends a grounder back through the middle. Rivera makes a diving play behind second. At this point, I like to think that fans in Kane County were thinking, “Oh, shoot. Well, at least the tying run will score.”  Rivera gets to his feet and I like to think they were thinking, “No. Way.”  Rivera fires a strike to first to retire David and I like to think that there was just stunned silence in the stadium and the only thing that could be heard was the celebrating of the Timber Rattlers in the dugout and the ranting of a crazed radio announcer…
  5. Oh, wait that last part was exactly what happened.
  6. Backtracking a bit.  The Cougars may have done the Rattlers a favor with that sacrifice bunt in the seventh.  Pierce walked the first batter and hit the second batter and brought up Julio Aparicio, a .306 hitter.  Aparicio bunted the runners over and that brought up Dean Espy (.227) and David (.222 in three games).
  7. Michael Strong with five strikeouts – and no walks – over two innings. Last ten games: 21IP, 12H, 2R, 9BB, 30K
  8. I bring this up when the number is against the Rattlers, so here is what Kane County did with Runners in Scoring Position on Thursday: 0-for-11.
  9. Brandon Macias was hit by a pitch on Thursday. It was the 18th time it’s happened to him.  He tied Luis Tinoco’s franchise single season record for being hit by a pitch
  10. Extra one tonight and #10 seems to be the place to put it. Chadwin Stang with an infield single  in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to ten games.  He has tied Greg Hopkins and Rivera for the longest hitting streak by a Rattler this season.
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 49 other followers

%d bloggers like this: